The Deputy Chief Public Health Officer is explaining why cases and hospitalizations are going up despite increased vaccinations.

On Friday, the province announced hospital capacity needed to be increased as more Manitobans require critical care in the Third Wave. Chief Nursing Officer Lanette Siragusa says surgeries may be impacted by the increased care demand as more nurses are being diverted to critical care duties. On Wednesday, Manitoba hit a milestone of more than half a million vaccinations.

Dr. Jazz. Atwal says 70 per cent of recent new COVID-19 cases are in people under 40 years old. This age group is not yet eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. On Friday it was announced everyone 40-years-old and older is eligible for the vaccine. Those younger are more at risk of contracting the virus than those who are vaccinated.

"We are seeing a lot of activity in younger populations," Atwal says. "We have our most senior population vaccinated, obviously we are going to see less cases there, we are going to see less hospitalizations related to that as well because of the vaccinations, (and) because of the protective effect."

The doctor says half of all hospital admissions in the past week were of people younger than 50, and two-thirds of those were younger than 30.

"Even four or five weeks ago, we were seeing a greater number of patients who were cases (that were aged) a little bit older. Now we are seeing that shift come down to younger populations."

He says cases are rising in this population because they are not following the Public Health Orders. Stricter orders will be announced Friday at 6 p.m. after the Chief Public Health Officer gets out of court. 

"If you are going to an activity, the activity is controlled," the doctor says. "What happens on the way going to these places? What happens after school (or) at home? What happens during these sleepovers? What happens with neighbours visiting each other? Family, friends visiting indoors?"

He says when gathering against the health orders or in places with fewer regulations there is a higher risk of transmission.